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African Rights & REDRESS Conference Report ExtraditingGenocide Suspects from Europe to Rwanda

African Rights & REDRESS Conference Report ExtraditingGenocide Suspects from Europe to Rwanda

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Published by: Kagatama on Sep 05, 2008
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Extraditing Genocide Suspects FromEurope to RwandaIssues and Challenges
Report of a ConferenceOrganised by REDRESS and African Rightsat the Belgian Parliament, 1 July 2008
“We encourage the use of universal jurisdiction to try fugitives and we saluteBelgium, Switzerland and Canada which have exercised such jurisdiction. At thesame time, we would not be talking about extradition, if every country was prosecuting the fugitives living on their territory”.
Sam Rugege, Vice- President of the Supreme Court, Rwanda, Conference Intervention
“It was self- evident that the ‘do nothing option’ was not an option at all. Thereason is obvious. No one, least of all alleged génocidaires (travelling sometimesunder false names and identities), should be able to escape justice by the mereact of flitting across international borders. We have a collective responsibility not to offer safe havens to fugitives”.
Bob Wood, Home Office, United Kingdom, Conference Intervention
 
 
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INDEX
INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................. 3
 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ...................................................................................... 6
 
LIST OF ACRONYMS ............................................................................................ 7
 
OPENING OF THE CONFERENCE .......................................................................... 8
 
I EXTRADITION TO RWANDA: THEMES AND STANDARDS ................................... 8
 
A. Legal Basis for Extradition
.................................................................................................................. 8
 
B. Human Rights and Fair Trial Conditions for Extradition
.................................................................. 12
 
C. Article 1 F of the 1951 Refugee Convention
.................................................................................... 15
 
II TRANSFER AND EXTRADITION TO RWANDA - PRACTICAL ASPECTS ............... 17
 
A. Extradition Procedures
..................................................................................................................... 18
 
B. Cooperation Between European and Rwandan Authorities
........................................................... 22
 
C. The ICTR’s Rule 11 bis and the Transfer of Cases to Rwanda and to Third Countries
.................... 24
 
D. Three ICTR Trial Chambers Decisions
.............................................................................................. 25
 
E. The Appeal by the Office of the Prosecutor
..................................................................................... 28
 
III CURRENT ARRANGEMENTS IN PLACE IN RWANDA ....................................... 30
 
A. Legislative and Practical Arrangements in Rwanda
........................................................................ 30
 
B. Human Rights and Fair Trial Concerns
............................................................................................. 34
 
IV UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO EXTRADITION ............... 36
 
A. Universal Jurisdiction & Genocide Suspects in France- The Perspective of Victims
...................... 37
 
B. Universal Jurisdiction & Genocide Suspects in Belgium- The Perspective of Victims
.................... 38
 
C. Universal Jurisdiction - General Challenges for Victims Filing Complaints against RwandeseGenocide Suspects
................................................................................................................................ 39
 
D. Universal Jurisdiction or Extradition? A Victims’ Perspective
........................................................ 40
 
V NATIONAL PROSECUTIONS – THE PRINCIPLE OF ‘AUT DEDERE, AUT JUDICARE’ – DIFFICULTIES AND ADVANTAGES ................................................................... 41
 
A. Aut Dedere, Aut Judicare in a National Context
............................................................................. 42
 
B. Aut dedere, aut judicare: Advantages and Difficulties
................................................................... 42
 
CONCLUSION ................................................................................................... 43
 
RECOMMENDATIONS ....................................................................................... 45
 
A. To the Rwandan Government
.......................................................................................................... 45
 
B. To the Rwandan National Prosecution Service
............................................................................... 45
 
C. To European governments
............................................................................................................... 45
 
D. To European National Police and Prosecution Authorities
............................................................ 46
 
ANNEX I CONFERENCE AGENDA ..................................................................... 47
 
ANNEX II CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS ............................................................. 49
 
ANNEX III OVERVIEW OF CURRENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST RWANDANGENOCIDE SUSPECTS IN EUROPE ..................................................................... 52
 
 
 
3
 
Introduction
In the immediate aftermath of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, many high level genocidesuspects who had been at the forefront of the killings managed to escape Rwanda to othercountries, in particular to Europe, North America and a large number of African countries.International law requires countries harbouring genocide suspects to ensure that they do notescape justice. Initially, some of those that were tracked down were transferred to theInternational Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). However, since the end of 2004, suspectsfound outside of Rwanda can no longer be transferred to the Tribunal, unless they are on theICTR’s wanted list. As an ad hoc tribunal and under the terms of the ‘completion strategy’ of the Security Council, the ICTR will have to complete all first instance trials by 2008 and allappeals by 2010.
1
 In order to ensure justice, the only remaining options for countries harbouring genocidesuspects is to extradite the suspects to Rwanda or other countries willing to undertake aprosecution, or to investigate the crimes themselves with a view to holding criminal trials intheir own courts on the basis of universal jurisdiction.Due to the limited range of universal jurisdiction proceedings that have taken place and arelikely to take place in future, and given the growing number of suspects who have been locatedin European countries, including in Finland, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, Germany,France, Belgium and Denmark, the issues and challenges involved in extraditing suspects toRwanda have become extremely pressing.In recent years, the Government of Rwanda has stepped up its requests to governmentsaround the world for the return of genocide suspects to Rwanda so they can be brought to justice. However, governments on the receiving end of such requests have had difficulties inresponding effectively and expeditiously. Few countries have extradition agreements withRwanda. Also, few have a detailed appreciation of what happened during the genocide or thenature and scale of criminality that the genocide engendered, and few will have anunderstanding of Rwanda’s legal and judicial system. Yet, these factors need to be scrutinisedin detail by those considering how best to respond to extradition requests.African Rights and REDRESS organised the conference entitled
“The Extradition of RwandeseGenocide Suspects to Rwanda- Issues and Challenges” 
to consider these issues in detail. Theconference brought together extradition practitioners from a number of European countries,including Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway andthe United Kingdom as well as experts from the Rwandan judiciary, the International CriminalTribunal for Rwanda, from civil society and victims’ associations, and academia.The conference took place on 1 July 2008 against the background of three major developmentsover the past years: (1) an increasing number of extradition requests issued by Rwanda againstsuspects residing in European countries, (2) a number of arrests of genocide suspects inEuropean countries and (3) the approaching deadline for the ICTR to complete its caseload.
1
During the Conference, the Acting Chief of Prosecutions of the ICTR, Richard Karegyesa, said that the ICTR would ask for ayear's extension from the Security Council if the refusals to transfer defendants to Rwanda were upheld on appeal.

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